Scott Alexander -

NFL essentials from Sunday: Age is just a number

Quarterbacks and at least one running back are proving that the old guys still have something left in them.

Age is just a number, apparently.

Quarterbacks young and old had some strong performances in Week 2.

Rookie Dak Prescott completed 22 of 30 passes for 292 yards in Dallas’ 27-23 win at Washington. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Prescott’s 103.8 passer rating was the second-highest by any rookie Cowboys quarterback in one of his team’s first two games of a season. Roger Staubach put up a 115.3 in his NFL debut against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969.

On the “old” end of things, we present Drew Brees and Eli Manning.

Brees passed for 263 yards against the New York Giants, giving him 61,589 career passing yards to pass Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61,361) and move into third place in NFL history for passing yards. In that same game, Eli Manning’s 368 yards gave the New York Giants quarterback 44,762 career passing yards as he passed Drew Bledsoe to move into 10th place in NFL history.

DeAngelo Williams is also proving that old running backs don’t have to fall off the cliff in their 30s.

The Pittsburgh running back rushed for 94 yards, giving him 237 yards in Weeks 1 and 2. That makes him – at 33 years, 146 days old – the oldest player in NFL history to gain at least 200 rushing yards over his first two games of the season. Previously, the oldest player to do that was John Riggins, who was 100 days younger than Williams when he rushed for 202 yards over his first two games in 1982, according to Elias. Also according to Elias, before this year, the oldest player to gain as many rushing yards as Williams (237) over his first two games of a season was Walter Payton, who had 290 at age 32 in 1986.

Other essentials from Sunday ...

  • With the Monday night game still to go, 10 games in Week 2 have been decided by seven points or fewer. Through the first two weeks of the season – with one game left to play – there have been 21 games decided by seven points or fewer, the second-most in a season’s first two weeks in NFL history (22 in 2013).
  • Tight ends are making their mark. In the Panthers-49ers game, Carolina’s Greg Olsen had a 78-yard touchdown and San Francisco’s Vance McDonald had a 75-yard touchdown, the first game in NFL history in which a tight end on each team had a touchdown catch of at least 75 yards.
  • In another matchup anomaly, the Cardinals-Chargers game featured two long-time touchdown producers. Larry Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass for Arizona, the 101st of his career, and Antonio Gates had a touchdown catch for San Diego, the 105th of his career. They are only two of six players in NFL history with at least 100 TD catches for one team, along with Marvin Harrison (128 TDs with Indianapolis), Cris Carter (110 TDs with Minnesota) and Steve Largent (100 TDs with Seattle).
  • Houston WR Will Fuller became the first rookie drafted in the first round to have at least 100 yards receiving in each of his team’s first two games of a season. He had 107 yards in Week 1 and 104 yards in a 19-12 Texans win over Kansas City on Sunday.
  • With 1½ sacks on Sunday for Houston, J.J. Watt has 76 sacks in 82 career games and is the second-fastest player to reach 75 sacks since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. Watt passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, who did it in 85 games, and finished short of only Reggie White, who recorded 75 sacks in his first 62 games.
  • Denver CB Aqib Talib is now tied for the fourth-most interception returns for touchdowns in NFL history with Hall of Famers Ken Houston, Deion Sanders and Aeneas Williams. Talib returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown on Sunday. Rod Woodson holds the NFL record with 12 interception-return touchdowns.


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